Oxford United chairman 'Tiger' wrote the following notes for the Swindon Town derby-day programme:
After a very good week, I would love to be there at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon watching Oxford United play Swindon Town. Imagine the atmosphere, the noise and the passion from the crowd! I miss it so much and we all miss the fans, but I hope the team can once again do us all proud and win a fixture that we have all been looking forward to.
At last it looks as though we may have hope that fans can be back for games after the latest news from the government. Now all I need to do is persuade them that fans from Thailand can come over to watch as well!
The prospect of fans returning is great news and I think is sensible. We have always said that we could cope with crowds returning, and the people behind the scenes have worked so hard for many weeks to try and have plans for all possibilities. One of those is for a limited return of fans – a trial game, if you like – and as this programme is being put together, we are still holding talks on how many people that would involve. Much will depend on which tier Oxford comes under at the moment, but we have got plans in place and it could be as early as next week that we can start seeing supporters at matches.
Can I ask for your patience and co-operation, please? This year has been very hard for everyone and we have all given up so much. Whether it is work, school, restaurants, or just doing your weekly shopping, everything has changed, and we have all had to adjust our lives and routines. That will have to happen at football. We have to make sure it is safe, and I am sure there will be new rules including masks, social distancing, and so on. I doubt we can have all fans back immediately. I actually think there will be some fans who would prefer not to return to crowds right now, and we respect their decision. If you are one of the lucky ones who can come to the first game, then spare a thought for those around you and respect the rules.
I know the players and Karl will love having fans back, and it is such a shame that this game comes maybe a week too early. A win at Wigan and a draw at Portsmouth mean we are in good form, and I look forward to seeing the team continue their progress and hopefully get you the win you all hope for.
Our Black Friday sale is still on, so please support your club and buy your merchandise online from the club shop.
Finally, just a word for the brilliant scientists behind the Oxford vaccine. Once again, this fantastic city is being seen all around the world and we are so proud to have the word Oxford on our shirts today.
You can download the full programme at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc